Read His Words Before Ours!
How do I even begin talking about the death of Jesus?
if we only focus on the joy of His resurrection, we miss the pain Jesus endured and the magnitude of His suffering. We have to talk about His death, we have to talk about His final words, because, if we just try to wrap our minds around everything that Jesus went through in His final hours, only then will we be able to try to comprehend how mighty and vast His love is for us. When we begin to understand His love, we can then understand the Gospel.
“Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”
Jesus has referred to God the Father throughout His entire life. The only story we have of Jesus during His youth, He says, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Later, He instructed His disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven.” Jesus made it clear who His Father is. In this very moment, when Jesus is in more pain than you and I could ever imagine, when He literally has to use every ounce of energy just to breathe, He calls out to His Father. His Daddy.
I have an amazing relationship with my earthly daddy. He has demonstrated the love God has for me my entire life. The only way I can even begin to try and understand Jesus calling out to His daddy is by remembering a time when I called out to mine. I’m sure there were many times I called for him when I fell down or stubbed my toe as a little girl. However, when I was 17, I found myself in a pain that was deeper than I’d ever experienced before or since. I was wounded and hurt with battle marks that covered my heart. I sat on my parents’ bed and they watched me crumble as the hurt and burden became more than I could bear alone. And there, my daddy saw my pain, he heard my hurt, and he held me. When I imagine Jesus’ relationship with His Daddy, I can hear the desperation and the hurt in His voice when He calls out, “Father”.
Even further, just moments before, Jesus called out, “My God, My God! Why have You forsaken me?” God had to separate Himself from Jesus because Jesus carried sin’s consequences for the entire world on His shoulders and God literally cannot be a part of sin. Yet, Jesus still called out to His Father.
The definition of “into” is “expressing movement or action with the result that something or someone becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else.” His life was ending, He knew just as He had taught and lived, that the only safe place for an eternal soul is when we are not claiming our life for ourselves, but rather entrusting it to the Author of Life. Out of His control, and into the Eternal Keeper’s.
God. Elohim. The beginning and the end. The Author of Life, the One with whom Jesus and the Holy Spirit shared the godhead. The Father, with Whom Jesus shared community and oneness, but had now been severed.
God’s hands. His great and mighty hands. The hands I pictured as a little girl when I blissfully sang, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Now, I picture hands that are worn with age and hard work, but hands that are gentle and can mold the most delicate piece of art. Wise hands. Hands that have been intricately weaving His redemptive love into the cloth of history.
Jesus. The Son of God and a young man who grew up with an earthly mama and daddy who passionately loved Him. A young man who had never felt shame, guilt, or the weight of sin until this moment. Almighty Jesus.
“To pledge or bind”. In His last moments, Jesus handed over His life in full commitment to the Father, not for the first time, but as a continuation of what He had already pledged from the beginning.
His. Jesus’s. Just as He calls us to surrender of ourselves, giving our all to Christ, so led us by His example. Giving up His own will, His own volition, to save us.
In this sense of the word, it means Jesus’ physical spirit, His breath. He set aside His rights as God to be wrapped in human flesh, and now, as His body dies, He relinquishes Himself fully, knowing that there is much, much more than physical life.
Jesus, covered in so many wounds and drenched in so much blood that He doesn’t even look human, is hanging on the cross grasping for each breath. As He breathes in, He lifts His head and with everything in Him, just loud enough for those around Him to hear, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” In this moment that seemed the most hopeless, Jesus speaks hope. He is binding His spirit to His Father, trusting His spirit to be surrounded by the mighty hands of God by doing what He has done His entire life: quoting scripture. That’s right, even in this moment, Jesus is quoting a Psalm.
“Into Your hands I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
In these last moments, Jesus is speaking truth. Jesus is reminding us that His Father is faithful. He is a redeemer! And in this moment, as Jesus draws His final breath….
WE. ARE. REDEEMED.
Jesus is DECLARING THE GOSPEL even in His last few heartbeats.
Without His death, there is no Gospel.
Without His redemption, there is no Gospel.
Without His love, there is no Gospel.
Without His victory, there is no Gospel.
These last words before His death, remind us of the redemption coming, displaying His love, and pointing to His victory.
“Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!